In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that transistor density would double every 18 months. Basically, what this means is that every 18 months, the performance capacity of electronic circuits would double, thus making computers faster and more powerful. This increased computing capacity has been balanced out by equally fast advances in software development. As Moore’s law holds true, it has prompted rapid developments in Information Technology and as such spurred the move to modernize software systems.
In recent years, the number of technologically savvy individuals has grown exponentially. This increase in numbers has also resulted in increased consumer demand for certain services such as online tech support from businesses, virtual websites, social networking sites, and modern applications, to name a few. In a bid to keep up with and benefit from the latest technological developments, many organizations have chosen to modernize software systems.
Though it may be a daunting (and expensive) task to update software on the basis of how fast new software developments take place, organizations should still try to modernize software systems regularly. This is especially so in the case where new systems would directly contribute to positive gains in the organization’s operations. Some of the reasons why management should put into action a plan to modernize software systems are:
1. Makes the organization more efficient
The use of modern software in an organizational setting is aimed at increasing professionalism and competency, by allowing the organization to be more responsive to customers and to new regulatory or business requirements. If an organization decides to modernize software systems, it reduces the amount of time it takes to perform business processes, and it also reduces the number of people required to carry out a given task. Along with efficiency comes accuracy, which is very important when it comes to certain organizational departments such as Finance and operational units that must comply with requirements such as ISO 9000, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and the like.
2. Modern software systems make work easier
One of the functions of good modern software is to make whatever task is being conducted easier. This reduces the chance of human error, but in some cases improves the work result in other ways as well. One such example is the use of expert software systems, which can be programmed to carry out tasks such as elegibility determinations and benefit calculations that would have otherwise been left to a number of people. In such a case, one of the arguments behind including such software as companies modernize software systems is that it reduces the number of staff without compromising the functions of certain departments.
3. Modernized software promotes collaboration
Modern software systems promote collaboration in businesses. This could simply involve departmental collaboration, or range further to B2C or B2B communication. Perhaps another important reason why organizations should modernize software systems is that it is no longer economically profitable to exist in a seeming economic vacuum with key stakeholders. Interaction is key and sometimes this can only be efficiently done through exploring the latest avenues of software development such as social networking sites.
Finally, modernizing software always saves money over the life of the system. It frees the customer from vendor lock-in and ever increasing license fees. It removes the dependency on the arcane skills of aging workers who are eligible for retirement, by introducing technologies that are taught in universities and allowing the organization to hire the best and brightest of the current software engineering graduates. It promotes the use of modern software tools for defect checking and code quality measurement, which are often unavailable for the older programming languages. And, it allows the freely available open-source frameworks to be used, which add high quality functionality to the applications essentially for free. All of these benefits form a compelling argument for software modernization and the opportunity to save millions of dollars or euros or pesos over the life of the system.